Boise State coach Leon Rice, pre-New Mexico
New Mexico used its array of weapons to hand Boise State its second straight loss Saturday at Taco Bell Arena, 88-83.
New Mexico (13-8, 6-2) had a 14-0 run midway through the second half to build a 59-50 edge, but the Broncos (15-7, 6-3) responded with a 15-3 run after having missed 12 straight field goal attempts to take a brief lead. In the second half, the lead changed hands six times, the last a 3-pointer by New Mexico guard Cullen Neal with 4:35 to play that made it 69-67.
The Lobos shot 56 percent in the win (28-of-50), while the Broncos had a brutal shooting performance in the second half, making seven of their first 28 field goal attempts.
Boise State didn't get its first lead until 16.5 seconds remained in the first half, but New Mexico guard Elijah Brown banked in a 30-foot 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer while double-teamed for a 40-39 lead at the break.
Brown led all scorers with 30 points, forward Tim Williams added 21 points and Neal had 14 for the Lobos. The Broncos were led by guard Mikey Thompson's 17 points and career-high 10 assists, while guard Lonnie Jackson also added 17 points.
The Broncos fell to 48-5 under coach Leon Rice when scoring 80 or more points and 39-2 in the last five seasons when posting 15 or more assists.
Halftime: Boise State trailed nearly the entire first half, got a brief lead late, but went into the break trailing New Mexico 40-39 thanks to an incredible shot at the buzzer.
The Lobos’ Elijah Brown, double-teamed, put up a prayer of a 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet and banked it in to take the lead into halftime. New Mexico is 12-2 when leading at the half, 0-6 when trailing.
Not until Nick Duncan hit a trio of free throws with 16.5 seconds left in the first half did the Broncos get their first lead, but were back and forth with the Lobos, never trailing by more than six. At the break, the Lobos held a 17-11 rebounding advantage and shot 55.6 percent from the field, but the Broncos turned four turnovers into seven points while yielding only two, resulting in no Lobo points.
Senior guard Mikey Thompson hadd 11 points to lead the Broncos at the half. Tim Williams had 11 points to pace the Lobos, while Brown had 10.
Pregame: The Boise State men’s basketball team hosts New Mexico at 3 p.m. Saturday, broadcast on ESPN3.
The Lobos bring an impressive collection of scorers, three in the top 10 of the Mountain West, behind guards Elijah Brown and Cullen Neal and forward Sam Williams.
In my weekly basketball notebook, I took a look at how the Broncos have tried to use charter flights from road games to their advantage, beet juice mania, Montigo Alford being a possible candidate for the college dunk contest and more.
Boise State (15-6, 6-2) is coming off an 87-77 loss at UNLV on Wednesday. The Lobos (12-8, 5-2) have won three straight, the second-longest streak in the conference.